Lara (larakailyn) wrote in ship_manifesto,

Doctor/Rose (Doctor Who): I'm So Glad I Met You (2/2)

Title: I’m So Glad I Met You: A Doctor/Rose Manifesto (2/2)
Author: Lara (larakailyn)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: The (9th) Doctor/Rose Tyler
Spoilers: Explicit spoilers for the whole arc of the current series of Doctor Who that just finished airing this past weekend in the U.K. with references to the classic series (First through the Seventh Doctor) and the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie “The Enemy Within” (the Eighth Doctor). Please don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled for the current series!
Author’s Notes: A lot of information in the writing of this was found on Wikipedia and in order to refresh my somewhat scattered memories of the show over the years and to double check some of my facts, especially in regards to the past reincarnations of the Doctor. Forty years worth of canon is a lot to remember! Also, everything in this essay is based on television canon, not books or audio due to their sometimes conflicting nature. And finally, I apologize for the length of this – it sort of evolved as it went along and it became evident just how important this relationship is to the fabric of the current series! Please don’t kill me.
Thanks: To jeanne_dark and leyenn for betaing this monster for me and giving me some great comments and help and to taraljc for being a great support while I was writing this.

Part 1 can be read here.

“It’s a love story”: Comments from those responsible

The Rose/Doctor aspect of the story has been an important one in this series, based on what’s been said by many of the people involved in the show, including Russell T Davies, the current Doctor Who producer and head writer, and Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, who play the Ninth Doctor and Rose. A few of things that have been said regarding the relationship:

“They love each other. They're best friends, and they kind of finish off each other's sentences, understand each other's mood swings and reasoning, but, as in all good relationships, they have lessons to teach other."

– Christopher Eccleston, “The Doctor”

"From the moment they meet, the Doctor and Rose are soul mates. They understand and complement each other.”

– Russell T Davies

"It's a love story."

– Christopher Eccleston, “The Doctor”

"She's quite in love with him."

– Billie Piper, “Rose”

“Obviously and quite overtly, really, the subtext of this show is that the Doctor is hopelessly in love with Rose.”

– Steven Moffat, Writer

“When he kisses her, it’s not only the thing that he’s wanted to do throughout the entire series, but it gives him peace because he’s letting go of the burden of the Time Lords being destroyed and he’s saving the one that he—he loved the Time Lords, they were his people—but he loves this girl.”

- John Barrowman, “Jack”

He Wouldn’t, Would He?!: Taking the Relationship Further

Since the new series started running, there’s been a debate in Doctor Who fandom regarding the Doctor’s sexuality and whether he could – or would – be with anyone, much less a companion, in any way other than platonic. In many fandom circles, the Doctor is seen as asexual despite the fact that the First Doctor traveled with his granddaughter Susan. It’s never been said definitively in canon whether or not Susan is related biologically, and there’s been a great deal of fan interpretation on the subject from both sides.

The new series of the show has made it pretty clear that the Doctor is not asexual, especially with the use of the dancing metaphor in “The Doctor Dances”. Given that the Time Lords live a long time, it’s quite possible that sexuality and reproduction is not something of a priority although it would make most sense for the thirteenth life to be when such things become a concern. Knowing that the end is near, this would be the time to want to reproduce.

The Doctor, however, has never been a typical Time Lord. Even before the revelation of his half-human heritage (which is still debated in terms of its canonicity though Davies has said the movie is canon), he’s always shown an intense interest in humans and a willingness to adopt human conventions, including his ninth incarnation’s leather jacket and his third incarnation’s jalopy. Such an interest could also extend to the humans’ love of sex and the need to go forth to “spread themselves” around the universe, especially considering he’s admitted he’ll “hug anyone” and has gone around kissing complete strangers. This, along with the existence of Susan and the dancing metaphor, goes a long way to indicate that while viewing the Doctor as asexual is certainly a valid interpretation, it is also quite possible to believe that the Doctor might enter in a sexual relationship with someone, including Rose.

Would we ever see a relationship go that far on Doctor Who? Probably not. This is a UK tea time television show, which means that it’s aimed toward families – even if many children end up hiding behind the couch. The kiss we saw in “The Parting of the Ways” is no doubt the most we’re ever likely to see. Could it happen? I think so, and that’s where fanfiction and fandom come in, at least for me.

Abandon Innocence: Why I Personally Ship the Doctor/Rose

When I started watching the show, I wasn’t actually looking to ship the Doctor and his new Companion, despite my wonderings about the possibility of a deeper relationship. The previous attempt to introduce a romantic element to the Doctor’s story in "The Enemy Within" TV-movie from 1996 had left me cold. I loved the Eighth Doctor and would have liked to have seen more of him, but his aforementioned kiss with Grace, the doctor who operated on him before he regenerated, just failed to ignite any sort of interest in me. So my watching was because I have always loved the show and because I wanted find out what the new Doctor was like. My interest was certainly piqued by the leather jacket he was wearing in the promo teasers!

Once I started watching the new series, however, not only did I find myself loving the new Doctor (who is now my favorite of all the incarnations), but I also found myself drawn in by the dynamic between him and Rose. In addition to their teasing banter that I immediately adored, they also had a trust that started in the first episode and became quite obvious in the second when the Doctor admitted to her that he was the last of his people, the only one to survive the last great Time War. As well as being a beautiful scene for both characters as acted by Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, it showed a wonderful chemistry between them.

From that time on, I was a shipper for the two of them. I knew that we’d undoubtedly never see them kiss on-screen (as Russell T Davies has said, the series would end or the universe would explode or something), but I didn’t mind. They obviously cared for each other enormously and were in love, even if they would never say it out loud to each other. Their love came through loud and clear for me in their actions and expressions around each other (and of course the immortal words of a certain Dalek didn’t hurt). I myself was a fan of their relationship at it was being shown and the possibilities that could be explored elsewhere in fandom, as I mentioned earlier.

Even though I became a shipper, though, I didn’t intend to actually get into the fandom either. Then I agreed to write a Rose/Doctor fic for my friend for her birthday, and that started the ball rolling. I found I really enjoyed writing them, and then I decided to open a LiveJournal community for them (time_and_chips). Now I’m irrevocably involved and enjoying it.

This is a good thing because as the episodes went on, I just grew to like them more and more. Rose and the Doctor were best friends (an aspect I love in most all my ships), and their relationship was by turns touching and angsty and sweet and funny. They saw each other as equals, and they rely on each other to get through the situations. Of course, the relationship wasn’t perfect – she still had some maturing to do (as mentioned earlier) and he could be a bit impulsive and obviously had huge issues with the loss of his people and what he had to do, and this could cause clashes and stumbles – but that made it all the more interesting.

Then, of course, we did actually get a kiss in “The Parting of the Ways” with the Doctor giving his life for Rose. I had never expected that, and because I didn’t, it gave the moment that much more of an impact. It was beautiful, touching kiss and showed just how much he loved her, just as her going back to save him shows how much she loved him.

My one regret is that we’ve lost this incarnation of the Doctor so soon after just one season of the series. In some ways, it’s a wonderful twist in the relationship because we’ll be getting to see how the regeneration of the Doctor really affects someone on a highly personal level. In other ways, it’s sad to see such a great on-screen team split up. We don’t know what the Tenth Doctor is going to be like beyond what little we saw at the end of “The Parting of the Ways”, and that leaves his relationship with Rose up in the air. He could end up rebuilding a similar relationship with her again, or his personality could be so different that something like that is completely impossible.

Either way, one thing is certain – their relationship definitely won’t be the same.

Setting the TARDIS: Places to Go in Doctor Who Fandom

General Doctor Who Fandom Websites

General Doctor Who LJ communities
  • doctorwho – a community for Doctor Who fans
  • sortofyeah – another community for Doctor Who fans
  • dwfiction – a community for the posting of Doctor Who fanfiction
  • dw_slash – a community for Doctor Who slash fans
  • dwcanon_fodder – a community for people to ask those niggling questions regarding the Doctor’s past and about what exactly is considered canon
  • infiniteworlds – a crossover challenge community for Doctor Who
  • dw100 – a community for Doctor Who drabble challenges

Doctor Who (2005)/9th Doctor Fandom Websites
  • BBC: Doctor Who – the official BBC site for the new series with videos, downloads, pictures, games, an episode guide, and news
  • Doctor Who 2005 – a fansite for the current series with a character guide, downloads, fanfiction and a forum

Doctor Who (2005)/9th Doctor LJ Communities
  • new_who – a community focused on the new series
  • dw_challenge – a community for bi-weekly fanfiction challenges
  • rose100 – a community for drabble challenges focused on Rose Tyler

Doctor/Rose Websites

Doctor/Rose LJ Communities
  • time_and_chips – the original Doctor/Rose shipper community that I run
  • doctor_rose100 – a community for drabble challenges focused on the 9th Doctor/Rose pairing
  • ninerose_au – a community for the planning of an alternate universe 9th Doctor/Rose virtual series

Exploring Possible Timelines: Doctor/ Rose Fanfiction Recs

Other People’s Fics
  • “And I Feel Fine” (by doyle_sb4): Lovely tag-on to “The End of the World” with Rose and the Doctor going for chips and Rose finding out a bit more about the Doctor.
  • “Woolly Jumpers, Choices and Lemonade” (by taraljc): Another well-done tag-on to “The End of the World”. The Doctor takes Rose home to get a few things and ends up going to the pub with her and one of her friends.
  • “Ivory and Horn” (by taraljc): One of my favorite 9th Doctor/Rose stories, it looks at both their inner psyches when they’re both rendered comatose by an alien plant. Rose’s odyssey through the Doctor’s mind is absolutely lovely and great trip through his past for those of us who watched the classic series.
  • “Intergalactic Playboy” (by lm_jillybean): A nice look at the consequences that can come from being a part of the Doctor’s life and how he deals with Rose being hurt, her family and his own feelings for her.
  • “World Falls Down” (by 11nine73): A look at how Rose might have dealt with the Doctor’s regeneration, this story is at once heartbreaking and sweet.
  • “Ten Seconds” (by taraljc): A beautiful short piece that deals with the Doctor’s thoughts about taking Rose with him again when he leaves London at the end of “World War III”. There can be no such thing as ten seconds, and the Doctor knows this.
  • “When She Cries” (by satine79): A short, sweet ficlet in which the Doctor tries to help Rose when she cries in the middle of the night – and neither one of them says a word.
  • “Circular” (by jeanne_dark): I adore the concept behind this fic – that the Doctor knew Rose before. It’s one that I’ve played with myself, but this is a wonderful look at one possible way it could have played out.
  • “Second Chance Encounter” (by gylzgirl): My favorite regeneration “loophole” fic with a bittersweet ending.
  • “Sooner or Later” (by gylzgirl): This fic has some gorgeous imagery, a visit with an old friend and wonderful intercutting between past and present as we’re shown what happened to the Doctor right after he regenerated at the end of the Time War.
  • “Odd Man Out” (by taraljc): Can you tell I love LJC’s fics? This is her Jack POV voyeur fic, and it’s hot (adults only hot) as well as totally in character all around.
  • “Pulse” (by casirafics): A stunning examination of the possible differences between the Doctor and Rose when it comes to love, sex and the meaning of a relationship between the two of them.
  • “Not a Busman’s Holiday” (by taraljc): A sweet fic in which Rose finally comes to understand something about the Doctor and why he is the way he is.
  • “Sins of Omission” (by taraljc): This look at why the Doctor becomes so attached to Rose so quickly is beautiful, lyrical and amazingly poignant, especially in its exploration of the far-reaching effects of the Time War.
  • “Restoration” (by leyenn): A beautifully written tag-on to “Father’s Day” with some striking observations and one of the best descriptions of a TARDIS corridor that I’ve seen.
  • “Shall We Dance?” (by dallyra): Dallyra has taken the dancing metaphor introduced in “The Doctor Dances” and applied it to the Doctor and Rose’s entire relationship using different forms to explain each change in a touching fic.
  • “Thank Your Lucky Stars” (by anniesj): Lovely ficlet looking at what could have been for Rose...and why she’s happy just where she is.

The Doctor/Rose sector has been very prolific in the last 13 weeks since the first series began and ended, so the recs above don’t even begin to touch what’s out there but are a good place to start reading. time_and_chips has a huge memories list of fics available for people who want more.

My Fics (a.k.a. utterly shameless pimping of my own stuff)
  • “In Your Room”: My first Doctor/Rose fic that I started writing as a birthday present turned out to be an exploration of the Doctor’s first time.
  • “Only the Lonely”: My own take on a similar concept to jeanne_dark’s fic under a different set of circumstances.
  • “Time Lord Truths”: I started wondering how a conversation about regeneration would go between the Doctor and Rose. This is what I came up with.
  • “Off Guard”: This fic ended up very different from what I originally intended. It deals with how Rose and the Doctor react to something unexpected that happens between them while they’re trying to retrieve a holy relic.

And After All That: In Conclusion

And if all that doesn't convince you, how about this equation?

Doctor/Rose = Doctor/Rose = D/R = DR = Dr.? = Doctor ? = Doctor Who

Tags: doctor who
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